Euro 2016

England’s 3 moves to defend from a corner kick

Author: Francesco Farioli

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Great international events have always been a time of growth and innovation. At the threshold of this Euro 2016 competition, it would have been difficult to hypothesise any significant changes because, without even realising it, we have gone through a change of an era over the last two years, coinciding with the last World Cup. Germany was the country able to absorb the Spanish influence and transform it into a football style with vertical possession, sprinting and aggressiveness.

We watched Neuer attack the ball as it came out on the opposing team’s half of the pitch (match against Algeria). For this Euro 2016, it will certainly not be easy to find other changes, but in these pre-European matches, Roy Hodgson‘s England has demonstrated a new and curious change on corner kick situations.

England defends with all eleven players in the penalty area, even if they do not always implement the same defensive line-up. There are usually 4 players in the zone, 6 players marking man-to-man and the Goalkeeper at the front facing the ball.

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But the really interesting thing to notice is the mobility of the players in the zone. We can identify 3 different movements and 3 different solutions that Hodgson’s team uses to take on their opponents.

1)    The first zone player moves behind the goalkeeper to cover the far post

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2)    The first zone player who, once the trajectory is read, sets up to cover the near post

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3)    The player on the first post who, moving laterally along the goal line, covers the second post

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As we wait to see some other historic evolution and innovation, it will be interesting to see how England defends in the first official Euro 2016 match and if, as they did in the last 3 friendly matches, they will change their defensive setup. The one thing that is certain is that the players will continue to actively interpret everything their coach teaches them. A nice interpretation for taking on a defensive situation.

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Francesco Farioli
Aspire Academy (Qatar Football Association), Senior Goalkeeper Coach, Video Match & Performance Analysis.